Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another satisfying wee project

A friends sister recently escaped from Christchurch after the quake, pregnant with only a couple of weeks to go. Her husband, son and herself came up here to get away while she had the baby and be in a good environment with running water, sewerage systems etc. She bought lots of wee newborn girly clothes with her to be prepared.

And then finally, out came the most gorgeous 11lb 8oz baby! Far too big for newborn clothes!

So I whipped up a wee Aline dress with a pattern from Scientific Seamstress. I love her patterns, and also have her Sis Boom Carly Bubble Romper, it's a wonderful pattern, and ultra cute. It's such a quick and easy pattern, can sew it up in under an hour. Makes a great gift for baby showers etc. 

Unfortunately I didn't grab a photo of the wee dress before I took it round, but she's going to get a photo and send it to me at some stage, so hopefully I can post a photo on here for you all to see.
With it being totally reversible, I used a minky dimple dot on one side, and a wee cotton pink retro print on the other.

I've made it before though, and have a picture of a previous one. Shame about the lining being thin, didn't think of that first did I ;)

So there is another quick project from me. I'm loving them at the moment!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Slouchy Saturday Sewing

There's nothing like a quick easy project to make on a dull saturday afternoon.

Coming into winter here, and I'm sorely lacking long sleeved tops. On my trip to Auckland last year, I bought the most scrumptious Black merino blend from Designer textiles for $5/m which has been sitting uncut just taunting me. I like it more than my full merino, strange!

So here is Burda 7456.

Pattern Description:
Cowl Neck tops with waistband and differing sleeve lengths

Pattern Sizing:
I did a size 24 everywhere, except the front side seams where I used a size 26. First time I've ever morphed sizes, I've always been afraid to for some reason.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Very similar.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
EASY! This would have to be one of the easiest things I've made. Will make more just because it is so easy. You can whip it up in a couple of hours. Great if you've got nothing to wear that night!
The front and back waistband (as called on the guide sheets) were actually named "ankle band" on the pattern pieces. Thought it was rather strange, but it gave me a good laugh!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Love the cowl neck, love the raglan sleeves, love the slouchiness.
Only thing I didn't like, was after attaching the cowl, the instructions say to use a twin needle to stitch the seam allowance down. I thought it was a bit of a waste, considering you never see it, so just edge stitched.

Fabric Used:
The most scrumptious merino knit blend. Bought for $5/m, and I love it so much more than my 100% merino.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
No changes at all, aside from the size 26 instead of 24 on the side front seams. I measured across the front of the pattern, and wanted just that bit of extra room across my stomach and bust as usual, am pleased I did use that one size up.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely. It's a whip up in an afternoon pattern, very versatile. Anyone could make this, it's such an easy pattern.

I love it. I like my slouchy winter tops, and this is just perfect. Its comfortable, not restricting, and you feel like you could wear it out to dinner, as well as just blob in front of the fire with it on. Plus it's yummy merino.

Apologies for the bad hanger pic, as my father always says "it looks nothing on a coathanger"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Divine Inspiration.

You know how you just stumble across something, that you weren't even looking for, and fall in love?
That happened to me this morning.

I was looking at Colette Patterns blog, with her post about Elizabeth Hawes.
And then, all of a sudden, this dress caught my eye and it quite seriously took my breath away.

Diamond Horseshoe 1936

How utterly incredible is that. The front is quite plain, except for the few panels coming up to the front. Probably because the back is the main feature of the dress!
But it's the back that grabs me. The panelling, the way that fabric just drapes, it was a real wow moment.
Followed very quickly by an - "I have to make that" moment.
So whether it's going to one day be a wedding day dress, or just a "wow, look at that, I made it" dress, or a dress for when I finally drop all this weight, I don't know! I just have to make it.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review - Simplicity 2311 - Lined Jacket

Well the jacket is done, the review is done (took almost as long as the jacket, I swear)

Pattern Description:
Womens coats - two different versions

Pattern Sizing:
I used size 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, just luffly!!!!!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes and No. while the steps them selves were simple, the organising of the instructions was ridiculously stupid. Going from page 4, doing 1 step, then back to page two where you do 7 steps, back to page 4 where you do a couple of steps, then back to page 2, then page 4, then page 3, then page 4, then page 3. It was like this the whole way through, and made it all extremely complicated.
I got very frustrated with it.
Simplicity - yea right

And the notches on the shoulder didn't match up, while everything fit, the notches were a mystery to me, as they were over 1cm out, if I'd matched them up, the armscye was 1cm uneven. Maybe it was a misprint, or my error, I don't know. but it worked without the notches matching.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Love the style. Disliked the way the back and front was attached, it took a lot of working, and I think it could've been easier, the graphics weren't wonderful. Maybe I was so spoilt with my first coat - a vogue, that everything else pales in comparison?

Fabric Used:
The most gorgeous soft polyester of some sort. It feels so lovely to touch, as it's so soft. The lining is just an opshop find, $2 for 5 metres. It has a textured effect to it, which my ring is forever catching as I put my arm in.
I think people have realised by now, I am one that loves a bright fun lining!
Close up view of fabric

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did my first every FBA!
By 6 entire inches! Gulp! I did end up with PBS afterwards though - puffy bust syndrome. I also had this when I did my Little Black Dress last year, and just pinned the bust curve close to my body, and restitched.
I slashed and spread the front and front facing. To give me more ease across my stomach, it's too big!

I handstitched the hem, I handstitched all the linings on. The instructions didn't call for it, but I just decided to.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It's one I'd like to sew again, but truthfully, it was so much mucking around with the instructions, that I don't think I will.
Seems a shame after I did the FBA, slash and spread etc, took me hours to do those! But I didn't enjoy the back and forwards with the instructions.

Love the jacket, there are a few wee pulls across the front, but I am ok with that, first FBA and slash and spread, I have to accept it's not perfect and I can't expect it to be on my first time around.

The pattern is a lovely pattern, it feels very comfortable on. And I feel happy in it - to me, that's the main thing.
It was an experience doing this coat, I did learn a few new things. But I really don't think I'll make it again.

Gettin ready to flash!

Bet you're all mighty pleased I'm wearin clothes under that! 


So there we have it. My jacket. Finished.
I said to a girlfriend before, "I'm just happy it's done, I know I won't get anywhere in the competition, but I'll enter anyway."
She replied "you've won your own contest for just completing it". And she's so right. 
It was a bit of a mission near the end, she heard the most moaning about it. 
I packed a wobbly, gave up twice. LOL. 
But in the end, it's done! And I couldn't be any more happier that I don't have to do another thing on it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sneak Peak at the jacket.

Ok so the jacket is DONE.
Here are a few pictures, I haven't had it steam pressed, so am going to take it in this morning and get that done, change the button on the top button so it sits a bit better, and then retake the photos.
But for now, here we have photos!

I just like this below photo because of the sun streaming through.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sewing in my Jammies!

Gotta love getting up in the morning, and sewing in your PJs!!! Surely I can't be the only one to do it?

Here's a progress pic of the jacket so far - yes, I'm in my jammies with hair undone, it's saturday - who cares!!!
The fashion fabric shell is done, except for the hem of the sleeves and tacking the shoulder pads in. I am totally in love with it. Just did my set in sleeves, they worked out really well, I'm feeling rather chuffed with myself for making them work first time round!

Now it's onto the lining! It should come together pretty quick now I've figure out the instructions.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm a happy chappy!

After being up until 130 am last night hunting for a pattern, I found one I like, what a shame there's not a 24/7 sewing store open! Imagine the custom they'd get from us who run out of thread in the middle of the night while working on a project! lol

I decided on Simplicity 2311 - project runway coats
Off I went at 9am to get the pattern. I plan to make the short view B, most likely with just the wrap belt (there you go Heather, great minds must think alike!)

I've cut out a trial version, done a FBA using Debbie Cooks tutorial at Stitches and Seams. Now, it went a lot better than the last one. I figured out the bust size I was using was a 44", and my bust is a (hangs head) 50". *faints* So that was a full 6" I needed to add - basically my boobs took all the ease! lol. So it ended up being a 3" addition to each side front. It worked better than last time, so I'm happy.
However (you all knew that was coming didn't you!), I have poofy boob syndrome again! If anyone remembers in my Little Black Dress, I had the same issue, there was a lot of extra fabric pointing out around what I shall call the "apex" area - I looked a bit like madonna! Otherwise, it's almost perfect, the back seems to fit well, and it feels comfortable, I'm going to slash and spread the front just a tiny bit too, to give me more ease around my large stomach.

Those who've done the FBA, where have I gone wrong in this part?
I can easily redraw the curve, which is what I had to do with my LBD, but I'm just curious as to what step I've mucked up.

Here's a photo of the muslin I've done - I kinda like the colors actually, they are just some cheap sheets I attacked! It's not easy to take a photo like this, as you may have guessed by the strange body position and face! LOL
Also a photo of my madonna boobs as best I can.

I'm so much happier than the McCalls pattern, this one has lovely shape to it.

And a sneak peak of the fabric I'll be using.